Morning Brief, Thursday, April 3

Europe DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images NATO will admit Albania and Croatia, but the alliance rejected Georgia and Ukraine’s bids to start the accession process. Greece vetoed Macedonia. France, meanwhile, will decide whether to become a full member by the end of 2008. The French will send another battalion to Afghanistan, President Nicolas Sarkozy also announced. The ...

595691_080403_sarkozy2.jpg
595691_080403_sarkozy2.jpg

Europe

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

NATO will admit Albania and Croatia, but the alliance rejected Georgia and Ukraine's bids to start the accession process. Greece vetoed Macedonia. France, meanwhile, will decide whether to become a full member by the end of 2008.

Europe

DANIEL MIHAILESCU/AFP/Getty Images

NATO will admit Albania and Croatia, but the alliance rejected Georgia and Ukraine’s bids to start the accession process. Greece vetoed Macedonia. France, meanwhile, will decide whether to become a full member by the end of 2008.

The French will send another battalion to Afghanistan, President Nicolas Sarkozy also announced.

The proposed U.S. missile shield in Eastern Europe will likely get NATO’s stamp of approval.

A symbolically important crossing has opened in divided Nicosia, Cyprus.

Asia

Tensions are escalating between North and South Korea, as it appears Pyongyang is trying to provoke a crisis. Also, the North Koreans have been selling rockets to Burma.

China’s spying operations in the United States are “growing in size and sophistication,” according to the Washington Post.

A Chinese court sentenced prominent human rights activist Hu Jia to 3 1/2 years in jail.

Middle East

The U.S. military has resumed airstrikes in southern Iraq.

Anonymous U.S. officers, as well as Ambassador Ryan Crocker, offer trenchant criticism of Iraqi President Nuri al-Maliki’s decision to assault Basra.

2008 U.S. Elections

John McCain is in the early states of searching for a running mate.

The Democratic candidates are targeting McCain rather than each other.

Time analyst Mark Halperin says North Carolina is the primary to watch.

Hillary Clinton reportedly believes Barack Obama can’t win the general election.

Lee Hamilton, cochair of the 9/11 commission, endorses Obama.

Elsewhere

Robert Mugabe’s ruling party has lost control of the Zimbabwean parliament. The question now is whether the 84-year-old president will go, too, or face a runoff election. South Africa’s Business Day reports that Mugabe knows he has lost, but has yet to decide what to do next.

Robert Zoellick, in a speech Wednesday for the World Bank’s spring meeting, urged sovereign wealth funds to invest in Africa. The FT comments.

Fluctuations in the sun’s cosmic rays have virtually nothing to do with climate change, according to a new study.

Today’s Agenda

  • Financial heavyweights will testify before the Senate Banking Commitee. Among them: U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who admitted Wednesday that the U.S. economy has “turned down sharply.”
  • Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner visits Britain. This ought to make her trip interesting.

Yesterday on Passport

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